Kaitlyn puts a lot of pressure on herself, especially when it comes to playing T-ball. I think she tries so hard because she does not want to disappoint me since I played or coached baseball for nearly 20 years. What she does not seem to realize is that there is nothing she can do on the baseball field that will disappoint me; I just enjoy going out there and watching her.
Before the season, I took Kaitlyn on a shopping spree of sorts, and let her pick out some new baseball gear. She picked out her pants, her belt, her cleats (although they did not have the pink ones that she wanted), some batting gloves, and her new glove (it looks a lot like the one in the picture). Since that shopping spree, she has gotten a batting tee and a bat (pink) so that we can practice in the backyard, and has already scored a new pair of cleats in Dodger Blue (her first pair got small quick and were hurting her feet).
After her first few games, Kaitlyn was pretty disappointed in how the game went. Even though she hit the ball great, she was upset that she had not had an opportunity to field any batted balls on defense. To her, she was not the best on the field until she had the chance to prove it on defense (she’s pretty smart, since teams with a solid defense and good pitching almost always do well).
I was a little upset that there was a good chance that I would miss this past Saturday’s game. I had to work until noon, and with her game starting at noon, there was not much of a chance that I would be able to get there to see much of the game. We were able to get out pretty quick, so I made the decision to head over to the field to catch what I could of Kaitlyn’s game. And I am glad that I did.
As I was walking up, I noticed that she was rounding the bases for her home run (she batted last the first time around and got to circle the bases without stopping). Excellent. I had not missed too much.
In T-ball, it is nothing short of a miracle if a batted ball is fielded cleanly by the first player it encounters, and even when it is, the throw almost never beats the runner to first base. But it sure is fun to watch.
I guess Saturday was the day for miracles. Kaitlyn fielded the two balls hit her way in one inning, and she was able to fire the ball to first to get the runner out. That’s right, she had two assists on defense (the team actually recorded three outs in that inning). Our little girl turned out to be a Gold Glover the other day. It made my day to see how proud she was of herself and how happy she was. It was all she could talk about after the game while we walked to the car, and it was all that she could talk about on the ride home. Kaitlyn struggles a lot with her self-confidence, and Amber and I do the best we can to build her up. But the truth is that she is just really hard on herself. It is something we will have to monitor and manage as she get older, and we are aware of that fact. But for one day, Kaitlyn was on top of the world, and Amber and I were (and still are) proud of what she accomplished on the baseball field last Saturday.